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late puberty for boys

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profmom

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My eldest had a bad encounter with an errant ball at soccer practice and now (briefly -- whew!) has his arm in a cast. In the course of diagnosing the injury, an Xray was taken, and the orthopedist told DH that DS's growth plates are still wide open. He's over 16, but his plates look like those of a 12 year old. I know that for female gymnasts, late puberty generally is a good thing rather than a bad thing. But everything I've heard about boys suggests that it's not a good thing because there are so many things they really won't have the strength to do until after puberty. Is there anything at all good gymnastically about the news that DS is likely to be a pretty late bloomer? Or does none of this matter at all unless a child is in that tiny, tiny proportion of kids who are moving toward elite gym? (It is good in general for a lot of other reasons, I know.)
 

emorymom

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Interesting ... is he in optionals? How does he do with the skills?
Are you going to go get a workup? This can also be a syptom of thyroid disease, silent celiac, and other things that respond well to treatment.
 

skschlag

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I think it is what it is. I know that isn't what you want to hear, but how hard it is will depend on how hard he wants to work. Watching d go thru that growth spurt this year (earlier than I would have expected) has been really difficult. Hopefully he is done and can now start to use what he has. He should have one more albeit smaller growth spurt.

So, whether he does it at 12 or 16 might not matter, if he is willing to double his work.
 
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profmom

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My 16 year old plays soccer and is comparatively short. My gym boy is 11 and nowhere within spitting distance of puberty. Still hoping to be an optional next season though!

We aren't terribly concerned because both DH and I were late bloomers, DH actually exceptionally late.
 

skschlag

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Just know that no matter when it happens, it can be really hard. People warn you about the girls, but the boys can be just as bad. Moody, emotional, unstable, grumpy, sullen, goofy, happy, quiet, silly, and stinky.
 

emorymom

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I'm sure there's some advantage to balance the disadvantage. Like being able to train longer and more consistently without dealing with growth plate injuries until the higher levels.
 

munchkin3

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I feel your pain!! My son has been patiently waiting (not really....hes been a royal pain!).
almost 15, still no voice change, almost Moms height, muscles are still bland and undefined.....
until then........wait, patience, and understanding...
 
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skschlag

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I'm sure there's some advantage to balance the disadvantage. Like being able to train longer and more consistently without dealing with growth plate injuries until the higher levels.
WOuldn't there be more opportunities for growth plate injuries the longer they are open? (truly curious)
 

gracyomalley

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In general healthy kids have a growth spurt/puberty similar to moms or dads - no matter what sport they are involved in - unless they are overtrained to the point of being undernourished, which, thankfully, is rare these days. So for girls in gym you are lucky if your parents were late bloomers, and for boys you probably don't want to be quite so late - but because boys can't do level 10 until 15 anyway, its less of an issue overall. I know for my older son puberty was extremely helpful, and right on time for our family with his main growth spurt between 13- now almost 15. Strength definitely improved but also coordination - he moves well now...even bowling! But he's also got short strong people on both sides of the family, so great for gym, not so much for basketball!

I will say thank God that puberty has been good for gym because its been horrible for academics and music with all the moodiness, exhaustion, self-doubt, etc. I am also looking forward to the high school years with less of it! (I could be fooling myself but please don't tell me I'm wrong!).

Increased injuries around puberty have more to do with rapidly growing muscles/bones and changing center of gravity/nutritional needs than the growth plates specifically - those can be injured as long as open...slow steady growers in general do better injury wise.
 
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sce

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WOuldn't there be more opportunities for growth plate injuries the longer they are open? (truly curious)
There are two types of growth plate injuries. 1) Fractures etc. This occurs when things that could cause a sprain instead fracture the growth plate, as it's softer than the surrounding tissue. This is a danger until they fuse. This is thus at risk for as long as the plate it open 2) things like Osgood Schatter's, which is an inflammation of a developing growth plate. In a certain phase of growth some aeas that were cartilage become bone and fuse to the growth plate and bone. This happens at a certain growth phase, the inflammation occurs when their is rapid growth and stress on the joint in for example athletic kids. This issue can arise over a two year period whether the growth spurt happens at 1o, 12 or 16 etc. I think with these sorts of injuries, it can be nice to be further along the gymnastics path before having to face them, ie having learned more skills.

But on the other hand, for boys some skills are easier to do and less strenuous on certain parts of the body after they've begun to develop the muscle bulk that comes with puberty.
 
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sce

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(Oops, I guess it was two years later -- but still!)
Wow, he did grow a lot and was throwing some big skills! Funny too, wonder of his size change is why the second video has 2 coaches ready to spot him on high bar, vs. the one before.
 

gymdog

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What is that kip cast handstand? I'm simultaneously impressed and horrified. Huh.
 

dunno

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My eldest had a bad encounter with an errant ball at soccer practice and now (briefly -- whew!) has his arm in a cast. In the course of diagnosing the injury, an Xray was taken, and the orthopedist told DH that DS's growth plates are still wide open. He's over 16, but his plates look like those of a 12 year old. I know that for female gymnasts, late puberty generally is a good thing rather than a bad thing. But everything I've heard about boys suggests that it's not a good thing because there are so many things they really won't have the strength to do until after puberty. Is there anything at all good gymnastically about the news that DS is likely to be a pretty late bloomer? Or does none of this matter at all unless a child is in that tiny, tiny proportion of kids who are moving toward elite gym? (It is good in general for a lot of other reasons, I know.)
actually, it's consistent across the board for boys. that's why the girls are younger/better and the boys are in their 20's when they begin to peak. it's normal. :)
 
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